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Cloth 101: Snaps vs. Hook & Loop
June 10, 2013 12:14 pm | by

This post is somewhat of a conversion story.

When I first started cloth diapering, I was hook and loop all the way, baby! I’d never diapered a baby before, and hook and loop mimics the ease of disposables. You just pull the tabs tight and let go. What could be easier? My entire stash consisted of BumGenius 3.0 (now 4.0‘s) and AIO Organic (now Elementals) hook and loop diapers.

A big advantage of hook and loop is the smaller learning curve for other caregivers. We had a nanny for my son’s first year of life, and it was easy for her to adapt to hook and loop from disposables. Likewise, the grandparents were not intimidated by cloth diapers because hook and loop seems just like a cloth version of disposables.

One tiny hiccup was that not everyone caring for my son remembered to close the laundry tabs, and I’d often get the dreaded “diaper chain” in the laundry — diapers whose hook and loop had grabbed onto each other while agitating in the washing machine and form a giant chain when you pull them out. I never really worried much about this, though.

I just couldn’t understand why cloth diaper pros seemed to favor snaps until I had my second baby less than 16 months after my first. For over a year, I was cloth diapering two babies with one cloth diaper stash. Due to the increased washes, my hook and loop started to lose it’s grippiness. Diapers were popping off! If this happens to you, no need to fear! Cottonbabies sells hook and loop refresher kits, which I bought. I also wrote this tutorial on how to use the refresher kits on both 3.0’s and 4.0’s (with pictures!).

As I mention in the tutorial, it’s really important to be careful when removing the old tabs and replacing them with new. Why? Because otherwise the tabs weaken and will rip off eventually. Unfortunately, this happened to me. I nearly cried when I lost around 7 diapers before the natural end of their lives due to ruined tabs. Completely my fault!

By this time, my son had started potty training and only my daughter was still in cloth diapers. I had received a few snaps cloth diapers from competing brands, but was not impressed due to recurring wing droop. Wing droop happens with snaps when the tabs of the diaper are fully fastened but the front sags down below the tabs. I could not get this to stop happening!

Then I got my first BumGenius Freetime diaper with snaps and was no longer hooked on hook and loop. From one mom to another (not as a brand representative), I have to say that until I tried BumGenius snaps, I was not impressed with snaps. BumGenius is indeed the only brand with which I have not experienced wing droop.

The new diapers I’ve received or bought ever since have been snap. One of the major advantages to snaps is that an older baby or toddler cannot remove their own diaper as easily. Oh, if only I had pictures of my daughter after a nap when she would remove her own poopy hook-and-loop diaper! Yes, it happens. But not with snaps!

So, I’m a convert to snaps. I only have one hook and loop diaper remaining in my stash, and it is the one that goes with my daughter to Mother’s Day Out.

How about you? Which do you prefer — hook and loop or snaps? Why?

About the Author

Jenny Bradford lives in the Dallas, TX area and blogs at Living (formerly Conscientious Confusion). This includes everything from green living, natural health, conscientious consumerism, cloth diapering, and living frugally. She is a wife to Christian and mom to Little Sir born Oct. 2009, and Little Lady, born Feb. 2011.



  • Veronica said...
    June 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    At first I LOVED the BG hook & loop, but they lost their ‘stick’ after a while. I bought the refresher kits but my sewing machine couldn’t handle the thickness of the tabs & Velcro together & chewed huge holes in the diapers tabs-I was SO upset!! To make things worse, the H/L in the refresher kits seemed to wear out within a few months!! When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd, I watched a few YouTube videos, bought the pliers & converted all my diapers to snaps. DONE! I even ordered a few snap covers on the ‘Seconds Sale’ to replace some of the diapers that were destroyed by replacing the H/L. I’ll find out in 8 weeks if it was worth it to convert. With the problems I had with the H/L, I can’t see regretting it.

  • Sarah M said...
    June 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Snaps all the way! I started with hook and loop and my son figured out how to take the diapers off. I bought a few snap diapers to try and was sold! My son couldn’t take them off and I no longer had to worry about diaper tabs. The Flip covers are my absolute favorite!

  • steviferg said...
    June 14, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I used to care for one & two-year-olds at a day care. Those little stinkers were always pulling off diapers at nap time. If I could have put them all in snap diapers, I would have!